Due to new federal guidelines and a growing number of overweight children, school districts nationwide are making amends in their schools' menus, with food and beverage companies scrambling to offer healthier alternatives.
In California, deep fryers have been banned, so chicken nuggets and fries are now baked. Sweet tea is off the menu in one Alabama school. In New Jersey, 20-ounce sports drinks have been cut back to 12 ounces.
While the government is trying to promote healthy eating by adding these regulations, there have been complaints by parents who see the “no cupcake” rule (cupcakes are essential for classroom birthday and holiday celebrations, not to mention an important part of PTA bake sales) as crossing the line. The NYT reports some of the parents’ reactions:
Parents in Texas lobbied to get a “Safe Cupcake Amendment” added to the state’s nutrition policy. The measure, which passed, ensures that parents may bring frosted treats to schools for celebrations.
Other food items like jelly beans and Popsicles are also on this list of banned goods because they carry no “nutritional value,” but strangely enough, Snickers and Dove bars pass the test because they in fact contain some nutrients (but more nutrients than fat?? I don’t know about that). And in northern New Jersey, students will find pizza still on the menu (but a low-fat, probably not-as-tasty version), and soda replaced by water in the vending machines.
As much as the government is right in quality food control, they should be equally promoting exercise and overall wellness to these students as well.
Man, all I can say is that... those mouthwatering PTA bake sale cupcakes were to die for.